No evacuation order issued for SA citizens in Egypt

2011-02-04 15:13

The South African government has denied issuing an evacuation order for its citizens in Egypt.

“It is absolutely not true,” international relations spokesman Clayson Monyela said today.

“We have been in contact with the embassy and we said to them if there is going to be an evacuation warning, it will have to come from the top.”

He said such an instruction had to be issued at ministerial level.

“I have just been with the minister and we have not issued an instruction or warning for an evacuation.”

This followed reports that an evacuation warning had been issued to South African citizens in Egypt after the north African country was rocked by anti-government protests.

On Wednesday, protesters clashed with pro-government forces, killing 10 people and injuring scores of others.

The uprising, which started in earnest last week, has reportedly left 300 people dead.

Protesters are demanding that long-time President Hosni Mubarak step down. Mubarak said in a televised statement that he would not run for re-election, but that he was staying put to ensure a smooth transition to a new government.

Monyela said 100 South Africans had already been assisted by the embassy to leave Egypt. He urged citizens wanting to leave to contact the SA embassy.

The South African government was closely monitoring the situation, which Monyela said did not warrant an evacuation.

He called on South Africans opting to stay in Egypt to stay indoors and keep in contact with the embassy.

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